76 days and time to start making dryer lint fireballs soon!

Today shows seventy-six days away from departure to the great white north.

For the last several years I have made plans to ride up to Alaska and in that time I have swapped out riding gear, camping supplies, tools, and about everything that would go on the motorcycle as I struggled to find exactly the proper things to work for this epic trip.

Over the past winter, I have utilized my down time from work and personal commitments by researching and evaluating gear.  The decision was made last fall to just bite the bullet and get the “best of the best” gear once and for all.  Over the winter, I made a list and slowly acquired exactly what I wanted that I did not already own.

As time passed, different online triggers I had created to monitor prices of things I wanted went off when things went on sale…slowly allowing me to upgrade the things I would be taking.  Today, the absolute last item I needed was acquired.  There is absolutely nothing I still need in order to feel complete about leaving my driveway and riding ten thousand miles.  It’s almost an addiction…shopping and then getting excited when coming home and finding a few packages on the porch from UPS, FedEx, and the postal service. It’s been like Christmas several times a week over the entire winter…but alas; there’s nothing needed left to acquire.

The project for tomorrow is to double check the “to do” lists, which covers many things I had done at about this time last year when I was preparing for the first departure to Alaska that eventually got cancelled and then rescheduled to this year.  Items such as having enough Canadian money in advance, having the required “yellow card” for insurance purposes in our friendly neighbor to the north, and ensuring there’s enough batteries available for days worth of video shooting are already lined up.  Just need to make sure that I start putting dates to other needs…like renewing the inReach SE tracking application, which creates the map you see at the top of the page here.

Some other oddball things include making sure to review my Living Will, my actual Will, POA, DNR my international MedEvac insurance, and having updated copies of things and scanning onto the iPad and securing the data before leaving.

Got to make up some firestarters for camping….a neat trick I learned some time ago is to take dryer lint, one of the most easily combustible things in the universe, and make “balls” out of them.  Smother them with Vasoline or some type of petroleum jelly, and stuff them into a old 35mm film canister.  These things ignite very fast, burn hot, and can stay lit in a decent rainstorm with very little protection.  Easiest way to start a campfire…as long as you have a Bic lighter with you as well.  It’s stuff like this that still needs to get done; all to be taken care of on a schedule over the next seventy-five days.

My thanks to a reader named Ben who sent me the following graphic on how to secure a bear bag in a tree when camping when the fuzzy creatures may be around.  Apparently bears can smell things like toothpaste, mouthwash, medicines, and even dental floss from a long ways away…and when they smell it in your tent, that light nylon fabric is not going to stop it from coming through faster than you can wake up and start screaming for help.

Quick test

Over the next week or so, doing some customization to the blog look here.  Bear with me, going to be a little messy as I set up a design that is conducive to sending updates while traveling this summer.

Testing using blog software on the iPhone. Also going to try a random photo test or two while I am at it.  How about some Alaska prep pics?

79 days!

Down to 79 days and 8 hours.  Getting closer every passing day; excitement mounting.

Down to double digits!

This Alaska trip has been in the planning stages for years.  It is something my mom and I talked about every once in a while when she was alive because she always said it was the most beautiful place on Earth that everybody should see.

Today, looking at my computer’s countdown clock, I watched it as it tripped to 99 days remaining before departure.  To me it is a very large milestone and it actually feels like it is right around the corner.  Think about it…January 1st seems like it was here only yesterday, yet today is pretty close to the half way mark between the new year and the departure date.  I am definitely stoked.

Just a few more days!

The UPS man delivered my new “Goin’ to Alaska” tires a few days ago.  Revzilla, probably the best company in the world when it comes to customer service, sent out a set of the Mitas E07 Dakar motorcycle tires to my door. These tires were made in the Czech Republic, have found their way to me, and at least one of them will find a home in Alaska until it gets recycled and made into something else…probably about 100 future door stops.  The cycle of life…or rubber.

Made for asphalt, dirt, and off-road usage, these tires should get me up to Fairbanks or so and then get replaced with at least a new rear tire to get me back to the Hoosier state.  My current plan is to get them put on about two weeks before departure.

Mighty meaty Mitas!

Not much else on the list to get for the trip.  It’s easy to keep buying this, that, and another one of those…but eventually it has to stop or else there won’t be a place left to sit on the bike.  Now that I’ve got everything that is going with me, I’ll probably spend some time this weekend sorting out where to get it all on the motorcycle.  Then the purge begins to get it all to fit.  Kind of like a jigsaw puzzle I imagine.

Oh, and before I go…somebody emailed me the following….which I respond, “thanks”.  Thought I would share it with everybody.

Bear attack survival 101